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Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  103 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Alice Walker, author of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple—“an American novel of permanent importance” (San Francisco Chronicle)—crafts a bilingual collection that is both playfully imaginative and intensely moving.

Presented in both English and Spanish, Alice Walker shares a timely collection of nearly seventy works of passionate and powerf
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Atria / 37 INK
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Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Alice Walker's latest collection of poems written mainly in 2015-2016, while full of sadness and anger, contains unwavering hope. Compiled here are many powerful tributes to people she has admired and respected in her lifetime; including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and B. B. King. She laments over war, hatred, and poverty while managing to take these arrows out of her heart to speak of hope over hurt.
Reading these poems slowly over a period of four days, I could feel Walker looking back over he
Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from a local bookstore in NY, while on a recent road trip. I love The Color Purple so I was happy to read this lovely book of poems. This book is beautiful, though it deals with tough subject matters like the effects of war on children -it raises questions of how we can continue on with love in the face of such injustices. The poems inspired me and spoke to my curiosity, compassion, and womanhood.
Alice Walker has lead a rich, full, global life, and I was int
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a GreatRead short and All....Prolific and Heartfelt writing, were Morrison is Thunder, Walker is Most Definitely Lightening. This short contains poems about life and love and will definitely inspire, always sweet to the touch even the most poignant ones Walkers poems sure will please.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the Alice Walker books I read in April for National Poetry Month, so I was excited to find this new collection of poems by the author. The collection contains the English poems and Spanish translations by Manuel Garcia Verdecia. The collection is perhaps focused a bit too much on the ills of society and philosophically aligned further left than my own leanings. While I agree with the author's points of social injustices, I think the way we would address them differs a great deal ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alice Walker provides readers a much needed meditation on issues past and current, with wisdom and insight galore!
Kirsten Tattersall
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Alice Walker's collection of poems is brimming with anger and sorrow but also incredible hope. I found myself crying through several parts of it.

Nathaniel Darkish
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Well-written poetry with a good message, but just not what I look for in terms of style or content for the most part in my personal poetry preferences.
Tom McDonald
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

Alice Walker delivers a series of deeply meditative observations on the fractured events of recent global, political history. Her voice is so immediately personal that the poems themselves feel more conversational than abstract flights of lyricism, as personal as the letters of The Color Purple.

Walker is truly a humanist spirit, weathered from the years of international indecency we as a collective perpetuat
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
First, I should mention that this book features both the English and Spanish translations of these poems, so while the book has 250+ pages, half of those are in a second language.

Alice returns to many recent themes - from her Buddhist-rooted beliefs to how to navigate the choppy and often compassionless channels of surviving in these times, be you a young African-American, a refugee, or a Palestinian child.

Many of these free verse pieces feel like they'd work just as well as a declaration or p
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, poetry, sjcpl-kindle
A really gorgeous collection of poems that are both intensely political and intensely personal (which is always the case). Each poem is presented first in Spanish and then in English, and as a bilingual reader, I loved reading them that way and having different parts of each poem hit me in different ways in the two languages. My favorites were “Refugees,” “The Dancing Shack,” “You Were Sixteen,” “What Is to Be Done? Who Is to Do It?” (probably my favorite), “Banning Cruelty,” and “I Believe the ...more
hannah ✧/ᐠ-ꞈ-ᐟ\ (on hiatus)
oh my god. alice walker is releasing a book of poems. I need this in my life. like right now.
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Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature, poetry
Beautiful examination of topics like racism, the environment, and the oppression of Palestine. Walker asks the question: who shall inherit the earth and what kind of life are we leaving them? These musings are frequently devastating but punctuated with bursts of hope. Additionally, the poems are all translated into Spanish on the adjacent page. A lovely touch.
Kent Winward
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it, but it is a sign of the times when even poetry seems partisan.
Susie Dumond
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alice Walker is a legend for a reason. This collection is powerful and political, full of anger at the violence and discrimination in the world, as well as hope for a better future. Walker reflects on her travels, the people who inspire her, and folks trying to make a difference today. Her poetry is thought-provoking, honest, and beautiful. Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart is a must-read for Walker fans and for anyone looking to reflect on how violence, racism, sexism, and fear have affected th ...more
Alyse Stolz
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Poems about grief and love and suffering and hope. My heart and soul needed these.

“Never pass up an opportunity to kiss
That sweet, futile, but delectable attempt to touch and to experience that most secret consciousness
Of a being you may never know”

I mean come on! My heart can’t take it.

I don’t normally read poetry (aside from Dr. Seuss 😏) but I figured I’d give it a shot as Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart is one of the Goodreads nominees for the poetry category. Perhaps I don’t know how to appreciate this specific style of poetry (or maybe it’s just poetry in general) but this book wasn’t really for me.

Most of the poems in this collection consists of commentaries on social injustices happening around the world (namely in the Palestines and Africa). Pretty sad and depre
Reilly Cook
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As always, Alice Walker's voice is one that spans a spectrum of topics, emotions, languages, and images that bring emotionality to the endless truths of today's world, many that are beautiful, and many that are ugly. She has a natural voice for poetry, and her style is one that people of all backgrounds can easily understand. Walker's work is exceptional and accessible, giving the reader a chance to feel what she feels from the deepest senses in the heart. The fact this book is in two languages ...more
Michelle Kidwell
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it

Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart
by Alice Walker
Atria Books

Atria / 37 INK
Pub Date 02 Oct 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart through Atria Books and Netgalley:

Alice Walker was originally going to entitled this new collection of poetry The Long Road Home:

Alice Walker reminds us that many archers are waiting in the shadows on the long road Home.

The Long Road Home is dedicated to the memory of Muhammad Ali:

This book is presented in both English and Spanish:

This time
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart, Alice Walker once again speaks her wisdom and tells her truths: applauding the ancestors who gave us the base we have built on; encouraging us all to activism to make right the wrongs all around us; making us face ourselves, our darkness, fears, racism and prejudices. All the while encouraging us to recognize the wonder and greatness around us, to enjoy, with gratitude, our collective spirit as we pledge to protect our earth and our youth.

A poet for the worl
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book one morning after (yet another) mass shooting -- the second so far this month and it's only the 8th . . . Walker's words soothed me, and allowed me to cry for those I haven't met but who could so easily be mine. The Future Captured in a Heartless Fist begins, "Somehow it is left to us this most hopeful of generations to bear the unbearable." Walker's poems capture not only the present world turmoil, but the beauty of her spirit. Even those like me who are not typically poet ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't really enjoyed poetry but I liked this. Alice Walker had some poems that resonated with me such as Julian ( for Julian Bond), Here it is!, Where you are Grieving, and Is Celie that Ugly? I can relate to the questions there were posed and the comments that were made from things in history and movies that happened throughout my childhood.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rarely read poetry books cover to cover. I will open a page one day and read one poem. Another page on another day. This book is the exception. I inhaled it in a very short time and found myself being unable to put it down until I finished. Now I find myself wanting to go back and reread it.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just don't think that I am able to give this book the justice that it deserves. While I am not familiar with reading books of poetry, I will say that I enjoyed this much more than I expected.

My thanks to Netgalley and Atria for this advanced readers copy.
Val Brown
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was just what my heart needed during this tumultuous time in the United States. It was like a hug, a warm fireplace, and when I finished it felt like I had a well deserved cry.
Emily Street
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Nov 15, 2018 marked it as to-read
goodreads best poetry nominees 2018
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a great collection of poems.
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Alice Walker, one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessi ...more